The Urantia Book Fellowship

Revelation Dissemination in an Uncertain World

It is the purpose of this presentation to review our present situation regarding dissemination of The Urantia Book and to describe an approach which I feel might might not only bear significant fruit in both the short and long terms, but which is also in keeping with the wishes of the authors of the book.

When I began to think about this topic, I asked myself the question, "Do the authors of The Urantia Book indicate that there are specific tasks which we should undertake? And, if so, what are these tasks?"

If we go through the book and note every point where the authors suggest that we do some particular thing, we find ourselves with a list of tasks which can be divided into three major categories:

  1. Tasks related to personal spiritual growth.
  2. Tasks related to addressing the spiritual needs of our world.
  3. Tasks related to the improvement of world political, economic, and social conditions.

I would like to focus on the tasks in group 2. The group three tasks are also important but I believe that they are secondary. They will be accomplished as a result of group 1 and group 2 tasks being successfully addressed. I base this assumption on the quote which says,

P.2082 - 9 "Religion does need new leaders, spiritual men and women who will dare to depend solely on Jesus and his incomparable teachings. If Christianity persists in neglecting its spiritual mission while it continues to busy itself with social and material problems, the spiritual renaissance must await the coming of these new teachers of Jesus' religion who will be exclusively devoted to the spiritual regeneration of men. And then will these spirit-born souls quickly supply the leadership and inspiration requisite for the social, moral, economic, and political reorganization of the world."

We could easily change the second sentence in this quote to read, "If Urantia Book readers persist in neglecting their spiritual mission . . ."

I would like to share with you some of the quotes I found in the course of my search through the book for indications of the revelators hopes. [I've listed only the key words and the reference locations in order to save space in this document. Many of these will be familiar to the experienced reader.]

  • "Of all human knowledge..." [196:1.3]
  • "A new and fuller revelation of Jesus..." [195:9.2]
  • "One of the most important things in human living..." [196:1.3]
  • "The overstressed and isolated morality of modern religion . . . would rehabilitate itself if..." [2:7.9]
  • "The real purpose of all universe education is..." [2:7.12]
  • "Paganized and socialized Christianity stands in need of ..." [195:9.2]
  • "The religious challenge of this age..." [2:7.10]
  • "To follow Jesus means..." [196:1.3]
  • "Some day a reformation in the Christian church..." [196:2.2]
  • "The ultimate goal of society's most advanced achievement can never hope to transcend ..." [196:2.11]
  • "The quickest way to realize the brotherhood of man on Urantia is..." [52:6.7]
  • "The common people heard Jesus gladly and they will again respond ... if..." [196:1.4]
  • "The hour is striking..." [94:12.7]
  • "The world needs more firsthand religion..." [195:9.8]
  • "What an awakening the world would experience if..." [195:9.8]
  • "The religion of Jesus stands as the unsullied and transcendent spiritual summons..." [195:9.9]
  • "If the Christian church would only dare..." [195:10.10]
  • "What is now most needed is Jesus..." [195:10.1]
  • "The world needs to see Jesus living again on earth..." [195:10.1]
  • "Modern culture must become spiritually baptized..." [195:10.1]
  • "When Jesus becomes thus lifted up..." [195:10.1]
  • "Mankind languishes and stumbles . . . because..." [195:10.1]
  • "High-gear spiritual performances must await the new revelation..." [195:10.18]
  • "If Christianity could only grasp more of Jesus' teachings..." [195:10.19]
  • "The hope of modern Christianity is that it should..." [195:10.21]
  • "The great hope of Urantia..." [195:10.16]
  • "Mortals in all stages of spirituality ... may find in the life of Jesus..." [196:2.4]
  • "Let all mankind benefit from..." [178:1.11]
  • "You are commissioned to preach this gospel..." [178:1.11]
  • "Your mission among men is to proclaim the gospel..." [193:0.4]
  • "That which the world needs most to know..." [193:0.4]
  • "The world needs to see Jesus living again on earth..." [195:10.1]
  • "When Jesus becomes thus lifted up..." [195:10.1]
  • "The time is ripe to witness..." [196:1.2]
  • "Jesus of Nazareth must not be longer sacrificed..." [196:1.2]
  • "What a transcendent service if, through this revelation..." [196:1.2]
  • "The religious revisions of Christian civilization would be drastic and revolutionary if..." [196:1.2]
  • "If Christianity persists in neglecting..." [195:9.4]
  • "The hour is striking..." [195:9.5]
  • "This good news . . . must be carried to all the world..." [193:1.2]
  • "Serve your fellow mortals even as I have served you..." [193:5.2]
  • "Go to all the world proclaiming this gospel..." [190:3.1]

Consider these quotes which I've read to you -- could the major concern of the revelators be any clearer? It should be obvious from these quotes that the authors of The Urantia Book place a very high value on the spread of the religion of Jesus in our world as quickly as possible. Over and over again it is indicated to us that this is a critical priority. It should also be noted that this exhortation was the major theme of nearly all of the Master's post-resurrection appearances.

The Road ahead: A Look at the Planetary Context Within Which are Working

Present trends in the world should serve to convince even the most optimistic spiritual idealist that the planet is not exactly hovering on the brink of light and life. While we remain devoted to the Group two tasks, we are required to undertake those tasks in a particular social, economic and political context. Understanding this context and designing an approach to dissemination which takes this context into consideration is crucial to achieving maximum effectiveness.

The revelators described the time of the mid-twentieth century completion of The Urantia Book as "psychologically unsettled." They characterized it as containing "moral crosscurrents," "sociologic rip tides," "cyclonic transitions," "spiritual stagnation and philosophic chaos."

We are in a situation today in which the environmental and socio-political factors affecting our ability to spread the book around the planet or within specific cultures could change radically at any moment. Today we have the means to create translations, print and ship books. We can get on an airplane and go to virtually any place on the planet within 24 hours. The Internet gives us the ability to communicate cheaply and to present ideas and information to a vast audience at almost no cost.

But all of these tools and capabilities rest upon a political and economic foundation which is permeated with tremendous stresses and is under assault by some very powerful forces. We should not assume that we will always have access to these resources. We would be seriously mistaken if we assumed that the path to a more advanced civilization is one of unending progress. We must remember that the primary direction of the evolutionary process is toward perfection. But this process is characterized by setbacks and periods of regression.

Because of this, I believe we should be scattering seeds far and wide and wasting no time whatsoever on trivialities. We will have to exercise as much wisdom as possible to determine how we might most effectively use our limited personal and organizational resources. For this reason it is very good that you are all gathered together here today. In this room we have some of the key leaders of the Urantia revelation in Latin America. And if you will share your insights, hopes, and problems with each other; if you will develop long-term working relationships; if you will develop good communications with each other; if you will learn to tolerate each others differences and idiosyncracies -- I think you will achieve great things for the revelation in Latin America. You will begin laying the foundation for spiritual changes whose future repercussions are beyond your imagination.

In the March 1999 issue of "Population and Environment: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies," a noted geologist lists four likely changes in lifestyle over the next few generations. These are:

  1. The excellent personal mobility of those people now fortunate enough to enjoy the use of automobiles and airplanes will be greatly reduced.
  2. The lifestyles of the high energy consuming nations will become much simpler. Nations which do not enjoy high energy use have less to lose and may not experience relatively large changes.
  3. The focus of society at large will be much more directed toward securing the basics of existence than is now the case, particularly in the affluent societies where abundance is taken for granted and the good life lived accordingly.
  4. Scientists, economists, sociologists, and political scientists will increasingly be concerned with the effects of declining oil production. Mitigating social and economic strains will have high priority.

We need to understand that there are likely to be some very difficult times ahead for our world consisting of significant social, political and economic turmoil. The major factors contributing to social, political, and economic instability - the AIDS epidemic, militant Islam, environmental degradation, and declining fossil fuel availability -- will take decades to stabilize. The resulting turbulence will profoundly affect the environment in which we are attempting to spread an epochal revelation. Yet spread that revelation we must, for it is the gospel of Jesus which we are told will provide the spiritual regeneration which will result in the "leadership and inspiration requisite for the social, moral, economic, and political reorganization of the world." [195:9.4]

We have got to make sure that the book is available to be discovered by individuals having the potential to catalyze the desperately needed global changes -- particularly those group 3 tasks related to the improvement of world political, economic, and social conditions.

In section 8 of Paper 195 we read that, "This secularistic human society, notwithstanding its unparalleled materialistic achievement, is slowly disintegrating. . . Secular social and political optimism is an illusion. Without God, neither freedom and liberty, nor property and wealth will lead to peace."

But this secularistic human society provides the infrastructure upon which we depend for propagation of the revelation. The disintegration is directly related to the deterioration of the spiritual quality of personal and social life - spirituality is the condition from which the ethical and moral values essential for higher levels of social integration are derived. How far will this disintegration go before it is turned around by a spiritual renaissance?

We don't need large numbers of readers -- but we need a few readers who are fully dedicated to the tasks of the spiritual renaissance. We don't need a mass ideology or religion -- but we need individuals who are living religiously. We don't need cathedrals or temples -- but we need dedicated messengers of a new revelation.

The physical tasks related to dissemination might be more difficult in the future than they are today. This includes traveling to distant parts of the planet to foster regional social developments, participation in international book fairs, etc. It also includes access to sufficient financial resources to engage in book publication and distribution and the existence of populations in which individuals have sufficient resources to purchase books.

Revelation workers in coming generations are not likely to always have access to the revelation propagation resources we have available today. We should take fullest advantage of our situation to accomplish as much as possible to further the project of planetary rehabilitation.

An Approach to Revelation Dissemination in an Uncertain World

If we feel that the above assessments of our challenge and our planetary situation are relatively accurate, responsible stewardship of the revelation requires that we develop a dissemination plan which takes all of this into consideration.

The revelator's stated desire is to expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception. Their frequently emphasized approach is through the spread of the religion of Jesus. Success in this undertaking would cause mortals to be more receptive to superhuman ministry and hence make the entire planet more suseptible to spiritual uplift.

Remeber that virtually all of the problems in our world today are the result of individuals making free will choices. From problems with the ecosystem to difficulties within the human family structure, each situation is the result of free will choices. Humanity will have to get out of this situation by the same mechanism which created it -- through the making of choices.

Fortunately, in reading The Urantia Book we come to understand that there is a vast assembly of celestial agencies working behind the scenes to steer the planet on a course toward light and life.

Is there a plan for planetary uplift discernable in the text of The Urantia Book? Yes there is. And all that's needed to put it into operation are a few mortal volunteers.

Going into Partnership with God

With the loss of both the Prince's presence and the Adamic regime, evolving civilization on the planet was left without any external links to superhuman influence. When the Prince's regime collapsed, the celestial supervisors opted to let planetary culture drift back to a biologic level, knowing that the Adamic regime would provide a second (and last) chance to establish a mechanism for superhuman guidance on a cultural level. With the collapse of the Adamic regime, the option of allowing planetary culture to return to a strictly biological level of existence was not feasible due to the genetic changes wrought by the Adamic offspring and the concomitant introduction of many new cultural practices.

The option subsequently implemented by the celestial administrators appears to have been the establishment of an interior base of operations consisting of the presence of the Adjusters and the Spirit of Truth, complemented in the external cultural world by the life and teachings of the Bestowal Son. These mechanisms should be able to work interactively over time to orient humanity and provide a basis to "expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception."

The Urantia Book provides a significant reinforcement of this plan, particularly the restatement of the life and teachings of Jesus. I believe that the book refers to this plan when it comments, "The only technique for accelerating the natural trend of social evolution is that of applying spiritual pressure from above, thus augmenting moral insight while enhancing the soul capacity of every mortal to understand and love every other mortal." [52:6.7]

The book tells us that one of the repercussions of revelation is that it discloses our capacity for partnership with God. [102:3.7] Studying The Urantia Book leads us to certain conclusions regarding the manner in which we can assist the gods in their efforts to spiritually stimulate and uplift human civilization. Elsewhere I have described the mechanism by which we can directly work with the Seraphim. Here I would like to focus on how we can facilitate the functioning of the Spirit of Truth.

It appears to me that by propagating the life and teachings of Jesus in the planetary cultural environment we can provide direct assistance to our unseen friends by reinforcing the work of the Spirit of Truth -- we can truly work in partnership with God on a very practical level. Let's look a little more closely at how this might work.

The books says that,

"The spirit . . . came to help men recall and understand the words of the Master as well as to illuminate and reinterpret his life on earth. Next, the Spirit of Truth came to help the believer to witness to the realities of Jesus' teachings and his life as he lived it in the flesh, and as he now again lives it anew and afresh in the individual believer of each passing generation of the spiritfilled sons of God. Thus it appears that the Spirit of Truth comes really to lead all believers into all truth, into the expanding knowledge of the experience of the living and growing spiritual consciousness of the reality of eternal and ascending sonship with God." [194:2.5]

"On the day of Pentecost . . . the Spirit of Truth became the personal gift from the Master to every mortal. This spirit was bestowed for the purpose of qualifying believers more effectively to preach the gospel of the kingdom..." [194:3.5]

"The coming of the Spirit of Truth purifies the human heart and leads the recipient to formulate a life purpose single to the will of God and the welfare of men." [194:3.19]

"Though the Spirit of Truth is poured out upon all flesh, this spirit of the Son is almost wholly limited in function and power by man's personal reception of that which constitutes the sum and substance of the mission of the bestowal Son." [34:5.5]

It seems to me that, if this spirit works by illuminating the meanings and values of the life of the Bestowal Son, by making the account of the life and teachings of Jesus in The Urantia Book more widely available, we would be directly assisting the work of this spirit. Each mortal who reads this restatement of the Master's life potentially increases his or her receptivity to the ministry of this spirit.

Consider The Urantia Book as a mortal volunteer's tool kit -- it contains instructions for teachers, a description of the cosmological context within which we are to work, statements of goals and objectives, exhortations to share the gospel of Jesus, and an account of the Life and Teachings of Jesus which the revelators tell us is to be the "inspiration for all lives upon all Nebadon worlds throughout all generations for all ages to come." [120:2.7] The cosmology, theology, and history in the book provide important orientation for "those new teachers who will be exclusively devoted to the gospel of Jesus." Part IV of the Book provides a potentially transformative text which can be easily translated and distributed worldwide.

Thus has been delivered to us in The Urantia Book, a complete package for the stimulation of a planetary spiritual awakening -- tools, resources and instructions. It contains a sufficiently clear description of the celestial forces working behind the scenes on this project to enable us to synchronize our efforts with theirs.

Let me try to illustrate my view of this book. Imagine that a group of pioneers is exploring a remote valley. They have entered this valley through a narrow pass in some very rugged mountains. While they are in the valley a landslide closes the pass. They now have no means of getting out -- of getting more food, medicines, blankets, etc. It is not even possible to land an airplane in this valley.

The regional government puts together a survival package which will be dropped to these people from an airplane. This survival package contains food, tools, blankets, clothing, medicines, tents -- everything that this community of pioneers needs for survival. But take note -- not every individual in this community will need to use everything that is in the survival package. Some people will not need medicines, some will not know how to use some of the tools, some will need extra blankets. Each individual will be given what he or she needs and the community as a whole will survive.

I believe there is a similar situation with The Urantia Book. It is packed with materials which meet the needs of many different types of people. Not everyone will want everything that is in this book -- but there is something for everyone. If you go into any Christian church today, whether it is Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox, you will not find many people who would be interested in a serious discussion of the Trinity, or of Process Theology. But you will find that virtually everyone knows the stories about Jesus. Most Christians will not take the time to go to a local seminary for a conference about existential theology, but they will show up at the church or cathedral for Easter and Christmas services.

The controversy related to the recent film about the trial and crucifixion of Jesus shows us that there is a great deal of interest in the Jesus story.

The revelators say that, "If the incarnated life of Michael is taken as the background of the revelation of God to man, we may attempt to put in human word symbols certain ideas and ideals concerning the divine nature which may possibly contribute to a further illumination and unification of the human concept of the nature and the character of the personality of the Universal Father." [1:0.2]

Here the authors of the book say that the life and teachings of Jesus can form the background, the basis, from which a greater revelation about the nature of God might be made to humanity.

Experience over the first fifty years of the book's presence in North America shows the same pattern. Far more readers are familiar with the Jesus papers than are familiar with the teachings in the rest of the book. In fact, my experience is that relatively few readers know very much in depth about the theology/cosmology of the book.

There are portions of The Urantia Book which are never likely to be accessible to more than a handful of individuals with strong interests and backgrounds in philosophy and theology. To require readers to wade through a complex theology or cosmology as a price to be paid for gaining access to the life and teachings of Jesus seems counterproductive to me.

It is instructive in this regard to review the approaches which both Melchizedek and Jesus took to the management of their revelations. Melchizedek worked from the teachings and methods of the earlier Sethite priests of the second garden. Jesus took over the work of John the Baptist and developed his presentation of the gospel message by evolving what John had already started. We are encouraged to work in a similar evolutionary manner by developing the potentials of the existing story of Jesus. It is within this story already in the possession of humanity, we are told, that the potentials of the kingdom lie slumbering.

"Mistake not! there is in the teachings of Jesus an eternal nature which will not permit them forever to remain unfruitful in the hearts of thinking men. The kingdom as Jesus conceived it has to a large extent failed on earth; for the time being, an outward church has taken its place; but you should comprehend that this church is only the larval stage of the thwarted spiritual kingdom, which will carry it through this material age and over into a more spiritual dispensation where the Master's teachings may enjoy a fuller opportunity for development. Thus does the socalled Christian church become the cocoon in which the kingdom of Jesus' concept now slumbers. The kingdom of the divine brotherhood is still alive and will eventually and certainly come forth from this long submergence, just as surely as the butterfly eventually emerges as the beautiful unfolding of its less attractive creature of metamorphic development." [170:5.21]

For these and other reasons I believe that the spread of Part IV of The Urantia Book should become the central thrust of our dissemination efforts.

The book indicates that Jesus' life of achieving the Father's will is "man's most real and ideal revelation of the personality of God." [1:6.8]

We are also told that,

"The most enlightening and spiritually edifying of all revelations of the divine nature is to be found in the comprehension of the religious life of Jesus of Nazareth..." [2.0.2]

"The call to the adventure of building a new and transformed human society by means of the spiritual rebirth of Jesus' brotherhood of the kingdom should thrill all who believe in him as men have not been stirred since the days when they walked about on earth as his companions in the flesh." [195:10.6]

"All Urantia is waiting for the proclamation of the ennobling message of Michael, unencumbered by the accumulated doctrines and dogmas of nineteen centuries of contact with the religions of evolutionary origin." [94:12.7]

I trust that this discussion has given you a sense of the ministry priorities which are set forth in The Urantia Book by its authors and editors.

Some Principles of Personal Ministry - Notes on Outreach Ministry from Dr. Meredith Sprunger

When we begin to get involved in this work, there is a whole range of personal and social problems which appear. So I would like to spend my last few minutes with you reviewing some important personal aspects of outreach work. I would like to share with you some principles of ministry which were developed by Dr. Meredith Sprunger in the course of his work. The remainder of this presentation is taken directly from Dr. Sprunger's writing.

We are living in one of the few periods of history where social and religious values are in flux on a massive scale. Ours is a day in which individuals with vision, courage, initiative, and high spiritual goals will have extraordinary leverage and influence in shaping the future. In the context of such a changing world, we need to plan and execute our ministry as heralds of the fifth epochal revelation.

How we conduct our outreach ministry is much more important than when or where we introduce people to The Urantia Book. We must learn to accept indifference and social opposition with love, intellectual candor, and good humor.

Our work is relatively benign. We are merely introducing people to a book and encouraging them to read it. Their response is in the hands of the Spirit. If the message of The Urantia Book does not sell itself, we should cheerfully allow the reader to his own interpretations and evaluation. If this new vision of spiritual reality does not inspire people, our arguments are not likely to do so either.

Although the essence of our outreach ministry is simple, it is important. There is much at stake for the future of religion in our world.

1. Use wisdom and balance in all of your service. Avoid extremes, exhibitionism, oversell, and the spectacular. Learn to distinguish between artistic good taste and the theatrical. Remember that personal contact is more effective than impersonal mass communication. Understand the wisdom and effectiveness of small groups. These groups form coalitions and networks which are more open and dynamic than those of hierarchical and self-serving cults.

Such a network is many times greater than the sum of its parts It has multiple leadership, pluralistic policies, and its center is everywhere. Start where people are, not where you are. Communicate in their frames of reference and anticipate their natural reactions. Combine the most expert knowledge with the highest values in all of your ministry.

Master your mind through the power of the spirit. Be strong in the spirit; know that in liaison with God nothing can defeat the spiritual purposes of your life. Be fearless but act with discretion.

2. Let love create the atmosphere of all of your interpersonal relationships. Remember that you cannot communicate effectively with others unless you positively and unconditionally accept them with all of their imperfections. Strive to prevent your own biases and limitations from interfering or distorting your service to them support, stimulate, and help people; do not seek to coerce them. See all of your fellows as persons of worth and strive to build their self-confidence and self-respect. Be natural and genuine and enjoy their company.

Serve out of love, a thankful heart, and the joy of the act itself. Ministry is an intrinsic activity of the creative mind and the loving soul. Extrinsic motivation in service compromises its spiritual value. Serving God even for good extrinsic purposes such as building your study group, society, or church, or even to bring about a spiritual renaissance limits its spiritual value and personal satisfaction. Minister out of the intrinsic motivation of love, thankfulness, and joy; the extrinsic repercussions or results will largely take care of themselves. Serve with the openness of creative love; but do not try to manipulate people.

3. Temper your personal convictions with philosophic objectivity. Always be honest and open. Cultivate freedom of opinion and respect the right of others to disagree with your most deeply held convictions. Honor each person's God-given right to self-determination. Try to establish common ground but do not contend with people. Let your enthusiasm for truth animate your discussions but never knowingly put people down or offend.

4. Recognize that evolution is the underlying principle of life. Do not expect immediate results. All growth is unconscious and has mustard seed beginnings. The roots of a new tree of life take decades to penetrate the rocks of tradition on which it is planted. Be patient but do not become the victim of a fearful "do-nothing" psychology and bury your talents and treasure in stagnation or cult groups. Be concerned about ministering effectively but relatively unconcerned about results.

All who have prophetic vision know that evolution, the plow of history, eventually breaks the crust of individual resistance and moves the clods of social stagnation. Be loyal and persistent in your service without needing to see results or to be honored by success. It is our privilege and responsibility to minister; the results are in the hands of God the Supreme. In all things cultivate in yourself the mind and attitude of the Supreme. The vicissitudes of time do not change the goals of eternity.

5. Be actively involved in routine, commonplace experiences. Grow, bloom, and bear fruit in the soil where you are planted. If possible, keep your old social and religious ties strong and healthy. Share at the level of spiritual acceptance. When you are a tadpole don't pretend to be a fish or an eagle. Only dedicated and creative work in the actual circumstances in which you find yourself will bring you inner satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment. These mundane activities will bring a sense of proportion, genuineness, and integrity to your ministry. Forget the failures of the past and do not allow yourself to be preoccupied anticipating the future. Live in the present in constant fellowship with the Father and absorbed in the existential moment of experience.

6. Cultivate an active sense of humor. Humor helps us maintain a proper sense of perspective. You can carry useful full-sized loads when you get the world off your shoulders. Do not take yourself too seriously even though you are participating in important work. Be unconcerned about prestige and status.

Strive to avoid self-contemplation and cultivate self-forgetfulness. Finite personalities can become tragic figures when they lose their sense of perspective and fail to appreciate the comedy of life. We need to learn to laugh at ourselves and the frustrating, ridiculous, and absurd situations we encounter. A light-hearted spirit can be a great asset in carrying the sometimes heavy burdens of ministry.

7. Above all, live with joy in your heart and find joy in your ministry. You belong to the Father's kingdom which has an eternal future of unimaginable adventure and reward. Nothing can long prevent the fulfillment of your most ardent spiritual hopes and fondest dreams. All who experience this faith in an eternal destiny live with irrepressible joy -- even in the midst of material hardship, social conflict, and seeming personal defeat.

As you free yourself from the slavery of the lure of material things, the adoration or criticism of people, and the importance or preoccupation with self, you will experience the liberating joys of service. You will also discover that in doing so you are free from the egocentric social pressure of being successful and establishing or maintaining a reputation. When our will is in harmony with the Universal Father, the joy of service also brings a deep inner peace. When you no longer experience this peace of mind and joy in your ministry, find another channel of service which does fill your heart with joy because you feel that you are where you belong, where your Heavenly Father wishes you to serve.

In Conclusion

Dr. Sprunger concludes his comments by saying that he would like to share what he considers to be the most important thing he has to communicate. He says,

While outreach ministry is the most important imperative in the Urantia movement, if you are not called to this ministry, or fail to respond to the Spirit's leading, others will hear this call and carry the good news of The Urantia Book to the farthest corners of the earth. But there is another call which no one can respond to except yourself. This is the Father's loving appeal that you dedicate yourself to your own spiritual growth.

Nothing in this world is more important in your life than your active co-operation in achieving the Spirit's mastery of your mind and body, your attitudes and appetites, your emotions and actions.

This is not accomplished by simply willing it; it demands active participation. The initial stages of growth usually require enduring suffering, transcending egocentric pride, or even experiencing social humiliation. The rewards and joys of a Spirit-controlled mind and a Spirit-mastered body, however, far outweigh the birth pangs endured in evolving the soul.

The enlarged freedom and deeper inner peace of your liberated and growing soul bring the greatest joy and sense of fulfillment which sons and daughters of God can experience in this life. Not only have you actualized your authentic self, but you have a quality of being which is more real and can accomplish greater service for your fellowmen and the Father's kingdom. It is my prayer that each of us may grow in this life of the Spirit. For the life of the Spirit is the well-spring and creative source of outreach ministry.

May God richly bless each of you.

David Kantor, Rio de Janeiro, June 2004